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COVID-19 Technology Access Framework

April 6, 2020

We strongly believe that while intellectual property rights can often serve to incentivize the creation of new products, such rights should not become a barrier to addressing widespread, urgent and essential health-related needs. To address the global COVID-19 pandemic, we are each implementing technology transfer strategies to allow for and incentivize rapid utilization of our available technologies that may be useful for preventing, diagnosing and treating COVID-19 infection during the pandemic. To achieve our common goal, we each individually commit to the following guidelines:

  1. We are committed to implementing COVID-19 patenting and licensing strategies that are consistent with our goal of facilitating rapid global access. For most types of technologies, this includes the use of rapidly executable non-exclusive royalty-free licenses to intellectual property rights that we have the right to license, for the purpose of making and distributing products to prevent, diagnose and treat COVID-19 infection during the pandemic and for a short period thereafter. In return for these royalty-free licenses, we are asking the licensees for a commitment to distribute the resulting products as widely as possible and at a low cost that allows broad accessibility during the term of the license.
  2. We are committed to making vigorous efforts to achieve alignment among all stakeholders in our intellectual property, including research sponsors, to facilitate broad and rapid access to technologies that have been requested to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
  3. We are committed to making any technology transfer transactions related to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic our first priority, and to minimizing any associated administrative burdens.

Initial signatories:

Harvard University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Stanford University

Additional signatories:

Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
Cornell University
Dartmouth College
Drexel University
Georgetown University
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Mississippi State University
Northeastern University
Ohio State University
Oregon Health & Science University
Oregon State University
RTI International
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
University of Maryland, College Park
University of Nevada, Reno
University of South Alabama
University of Texas at San Antonio
Virginia Commonwealth University
Yale University

In addition to the COVID-19 Technology Access Framework described above, Harvard University has endorsed the COVID-19 Licensing Guidelines that were developed subsequently by AUTM.